As the Biden administration celebrates the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, U.S. Army guidance quietly released last month says troops and their families can sign up for food stamps if they are struggling financially due to inflation.
The guidance from Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) Michael Grinston states that “service members and their families may be eligible” for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and provides information on how to apply. The SNAP program provides benefits for low-income families to purchase food.
The recommendation is part of the Army’s Financial Readiness Program.
“With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some Soldiers and their families are finding it harder to get by on the budgets they’ve set and used before,” the guidance said. “Soldiers of all ranks can seek guidance, assistance, and advice through the Army’s Financial Readiness Program.”
Food stamps are run by state agencies and eligibility varies by state.
In addition to food stamps, the Army also recommends troops take advantage of the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
“If you join the military and have a government student loan, the U.S. government will pay it off in 10 years through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program,” it said.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden held a celebratory event at the White House praising the Inflation Reduction Act, which costs an estimated $437 billion. At least $369 billion from the legislation is allocated for investments in “Energy Security and Climate Change,” Senate Democrats said, according to Fox News.
“After all, this bill cut costs for families, helped reduce inflation at the kitchen table, because that’s what they look at — how much are their monthly bills and how much do they have to pay out for their necessities,” Biden said during the celebration. “And it gave them just a little more breathing room, as my dad would say.”
However, multiple analyses assert the bill will not reduce inflation, including The Congressional Budget Office, which said the bill will have “a negligible effect” on inflation this year.
The CBO also noted that the legislation could either reduce inflation by 0.1 percent or increase it by 0.1 percent in 2023.
Earlier this year, participants in a bipartisan congressional hearing warned food insecurity among military veterans is a crisis that has worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.